Home > series > Writing 101 Day 2

Writing 101 Day 2

writing-101-june-2014-class-badge-1If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?

I have two places pop into my head when asked this question, one of comfort from my childhood and one of peace from adulthood. I once tried to combine them into one place, in my mind, the “best of both worlds” but it quickly fell apart, so you get two for the price of one.

From my childhood, I would appear in my Grandfather’s den in the family farmhouse. The floors are hardwood covered in a rug that has seen years of feet wearing paths into it. The rug is a plush dark green. The white brick fireplace opening is covered with a sheet of tin and a propane heater sits on the hearth, its blue flame keeping the room warm. The dark wood of the Grandmother clock complements the room and contrasts with the white brick mantle on which it sits. The constant “tick, tock” sooths something deep inside me. The light in the room comes from a single lamp on my Grandfather’s desk. The lamp is dark green, like the rug, and sits next to an old radio, its wooden cabinet lighter than the desk, floor boards and wall paneling. The radio emits a soft glow from the dial and plays an announcer at a sporting event, most often a college football game. Also in the room are the desk chair, two comfortable rocker/recliners a coffee table spread with various outdoors and hunting magazines, and a small television in the corner, that only seems to play static.

Outside the front door, the mountain reaches up and away to the left, as the rocking chairs on the porch look out over the gravel driveway and the fields beyond. Row after row of growing things wonderful to eat. The air is cool on this Spring morning, the last of Winter’s chill finally receding.

Flash forward a few decades and I’m standing on black volcanic rocks rounded by time and endless waves. Tidal pools contain an “ocean in a bucket” complete with fish, algae, urchins, and other strange sea creatures. Looking west, over the Pacific ocean, from the west coast of Maui, only two puffs of white cloud interrupt the complete blue of the sky. The water has a slightly blue tint, but the bottom is clearly visible, interrupted only when one the small breakers crash against the beach.

Whereas, the farmhouse speaks to comfort and family, the beach speaks to me of solitude, peace, and the timeless nature of the world, and my small place in it.


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  1. 4 June 2014 at 20:34

    What the difference between a grandmother clock and a grandfather clock?

    The implied imagery of your second scene is so calming. Sometimes the simplest descriptions are the most evocative.

    • CA
      5 June 2014 at 07:37

      When I saw your question, I immediately started typing, but a few sentences in, it occurred to me that maybe this was one of those things I may have heard as a child (and may have misunderstood – lots of funny misunderstandings in my life), so I did a quick google search to confirm my use of the terminology… That was over an hour ago. I have conferred with my parents and have requested a picture of the clock to make it clear, but I now understand that grandfather, grandmother, and even granddaughter clocks are mostly subjective terms to describe, mostly, free standing, longcase, clocks.
      In this case, a mantel clock, the distinction between grandfather and grandmother has more to do with the decoration, size of the clock face and the tone of the hourly chime (bong vs. dainty chime).

      Here is the picture of the Grandmother Clock

  2. 6 June 2014 at 05:54

    Well said; your descriptions, the places are vivid inside my head.

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